Farewell Baton Rouge
It has been a long and interesting ride, one that I never could have predicted. My tenure as ExecutiveDirector of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance ends today. I would have never thought I would look back on 15 years of meetings, meetings, and more meetings, charettes, conference calls, walks alongGovernment Street, and drinks at the many new Mid City businesses popping up over the years. Those were all the requirements for success and I thank you for the many moments of great things resulting from commitment, hard work, responsibility, and vision. I pass the baton having run as long as I can and with all confidence that the race is not over and will continue.
I didn't know back in 2006 that in getting over the shock that Perry was leaving - and not taking me with him - that I would step into the shoes that both he and Boo left behind. I took my time to decide it was my turn, but oh when I decided, I gave it all that I had. I have grown, learned, failed, rebounded, tried, and cried about so many things. And I would not give any of it back. I take with me the confidence, skill, ability, and patience to do my best in whatever I attempt to do. Mid City Redevelopment Alliance played a significant role by being the testing ground for the episodes that make me the leader I am today.
I appreciate the many personalities I have engaged with over the years - even the tough cookies - you know who you are. Your passion, persistence, and problem-identifying & problem-solving kept me on my toes and pushed me to new stretches of my mind, creativity, and individual strength. I can look back with satisfaction on so much resulting from never giving up. If I had listened to myself and a few others,Government Street would not be what it is becoming today. If I had walked away, Baton Rouge High maybe a suburban campus today. If I didn't measure myself, Electric Depot could be a partially finished"nothing burger". And no, I am not claiming I made all this happen, but I am suggesting that collaborative approaches is how these things happened; there was a consistent need to assertively push, strategically poke, and carefully prod and oftentimes I enjoyed that responsibility while taking the risk.
I only have one regret as I depart and that is Mid City continues to reflect the divide that defines the BatonRouge experience. There are two Mid Citys and until we effectively blur the invisible line of reinvestment that mostly rests along Government Street, we will not have fulfilled our responsibility to the community.I leave a hope and prayer that the work continues so the promise finds a rejuvenated Florida, Main, Laurel, and North Street corridors where everyone can enjoy a high quality of life in Mid City Baton Rouge.
To the team of staff, board members, volunteers, residents, business and property owners, I hope you know how much I cherish the experience of being the leader of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance and working with all of you. I worked for all of you, energized by the spirit of my grandmother who showed me how to care so much for others, even when you are down to your last of anything, remember something to someone else could mean everything.
It's not goodbye, it's see ya'll later!
With a full heart,
Former Executive Director